In this article we present information and photographs about the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Megalithic monuments of the island of Ikaria.
“Ikaria is inhabited, according to the few systematic archaeological investigations, already since the Neolithic age. The neolithic hand-tools, the “astropelekia”, as they are called by the locals and which were kept in their houses as amulets, testify to this fact. In 1993 in the region of Ag. Kirykos, a great fire brought to the surface the foundations of circular buildings with stone pondium made of obsidian. Inside some of these structures, large, upright granites with a flat surface are preserved. It seems to have functioned as an internal investment of the buildings. In Glaredo, the large concentration of obsidian tools attests the existence of such a settlement.”
“On the southeastern side of the island, a crowd of scattered ancient finds are detected, but there are no detailed archaeological studies for them. However, they are an important evidence of a civilization that lived in another era.
Thus, it is worth noting that significant findings are found around the citadel of Drakano, where are the ruins of ancient quarries, ancient mounds, traces of neorion and port facilities.
A short distance from the bay ‘Iero’ (‘Sanctuary’), north of Drakano (position ‘ Propezoulopi ‘), monoliths – megalithic monuments (Menhir), ie massive columns, are identified, which are either standing or are fallen to the ground and are usually by slate (‘Atsiroi’) or limestone, with a height not exceeding 2.5 meters. Perhaps, this was an ancient sacred site on the island.
Similar structures are found near the village Kountoumas (position ‘Vofilas’), where there is a characteristic trapezoidal structure, known as (in Celtic) dolmen, sacred places of worship.
Other megalithic structures are found in the valley of Erifi in the village Glaredo in a Neolithic village, where there are ruins of houses, a lot of shells, numerous ceramic vessels and fragments of obsidian.
Finally, similar boulders are found in the village Katafygi and on the road between the villages Tsouredo and Mavrato.
Kapsalino Castle is located on the eastern side of the island, on the mountaintops of Atheras at approximately 800 meters. The access to it is only through a path, well-preserved, from Mavrato to Karavostamo.
The position of the Castle demonstrates that it was a powerful fortress and watchtower during the Paleolithic period and that it could supervise the entire eastern Ikaria. The view is unique from above! Today, however, there are only few surviving parts of the castle.
“It is unknown when the first inhabitants of Ikaria appear, because so far no systematic archaeological investigations have been carried out. From the stone tools we have collected, it seems that on the island a remarkable civilization was developed at the time of the stone, much earlier than we have assumed so far.
In Glaredo Village, in Palioperivolos, a settlement of the Neolithic period was located. There exist remains of houses, circular in the top view, with a stone pondium. On the inside of the pondium standing granite slabs are preserved. The stone paved floor is preserved in a few houses and a number of ceramic pottery fragments and obsidian ones. The diameter of these structures ranges from 3.70m. up to 5.20m.
At the Propezoulopi position, north of Drakanos and a few kilometers from the ‘Sanctuary’ bay and the homonymous cave, megalithic monuments (Menhir) were found. These are columns of limestone rock, 1,22 m high. the smallest up to 2.80m. the biggest.
Of these some are found in their original position while others have fallen to the ground. They are all with acute peaks or almost acute peaks, grouped, usually in a straight line. They are adjacent to tombs to the southeast, while to the north we have a panoramic view of the ‘Sanctuary’ bay.
“Built by God” bridge (Θεόκτιστος Γιόφυρας)
(NovoScriptorium: It is striking that the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Megalithic monuments of one more region in Greece have not been adequately studied, almost as if they don’t exist or lack scientific interest)
Research-Selection: Philaretus Homerides